Tag Archives: birthday

2 birthdays in 1 – our 25th and 26th. How did we mark the occasion? Like THIS! ->

Our b-day celebrations are back. Period! But this year’s was extra special: we had a double-whammy, for we marked two of our anniversaries: our 25th and 26th birthdays rolled into one! But wait – there’s more: it was attended by a full 3100+ guests. Oh my grandiose!

But first – rewind, selecta

Some 26 years ago – on June 26, 1997, to be precise – a small but very ambitious and restless company first saw the light of day. And as luck would have it, the company was named after moi (I objected to this, albeit halfheartedly:). We were the epitome of a tiny startup: no money, no venture capital, no financial support at all in fact. But what can I say? It just grew and grew and grew – eventually becoming the multinational corporation you know today!

I won’t go over the story of how we registered the Kompany, since I’ve already done so – here. (And for more AV-adventures from yesteryear – go here.)

Here, I’ll simply go over the main things: the format, and a review of this year’s bash…

Our b-day celebrations are always all-dayers (and nighters!); they’re always next to a large body of water; there are always more attractions/rides to go on and sporty/fun activities to get stuck into than you can possibly imagine; there are always the tastiest eats and drinkies; there’s always a slew of bands (and other shows) made up of our own who take to the main stage; there’s always much dancing; and there’s always a headliner – or two – as the icing on the cake. But there’s a lot more to it than that quick summary, but we’ll get to that… In a nutshell: it was a proper, full-fledged high-adrenaline blowout!…

Read on…

11.11: Twenty years to the day!

Greetings boys and girls!

Suddenly – we’ve another jubillee. Hurray!…

Our cyber-immune operating system – KasperskyOS – is today… wait. No, that’s not quite correct…

Exactly 20 years ago – on November 11, 2002 – we began a long, hugely significant journey; a journey we’re in fact still on. A large, grandiose project that will change (and is already changing!) so much in the global cybersecurity domain. And that’s not hyperbole folks – it’s for real. And to get the full (hi)story of our cyber-immune OS, we need to go back to its humble beginnings in the early 2000s…

But before I go back 20 years, let me say a few words about today – November 11, 2022. Everyone today (besides the cave-dweller) understands perfectly well the critical importance of cybersecurity. Trillions of dollars are spent today on treating the symptoms of cyber-disease, but hardly any on dealing with its root causes. And the only way to break the cycle of constant Band-Aiding those symptoms is an overhaul of the architecture of computer systems, no less. Agree? Yes? Good, and thank you!…

The first time I’d gotten an inkling about this was even earlier than 20 years ago – in the fall of… 1989! For it was then when my PC became infected with the Cascade virus, which got me all curious and prompted me to start developing protection against it and all other cyber-contagion.

Thus, curiosity killed the cat was the start of everything for us. It was why our –V anti-virus first appeared, later why Kaspersky Lab was founded, and later still why we expanded right around the globe.

Fast-forward a full 12 years after Cascade, and my understanding of the imperfection of existing operating systems and the urgent need to do something about it finally, let’s say, crystalized, and came to the surface on a practical level (apologies for this perhaps seemingly over-detailed history tree, but it is, after all, our heritage:)…

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Montserrat
  • Montserrat
  • Montserrat
  • Montserrat

Instagram photostream

1, 2, 3… 57!

Oh good Lord in heaven – I’m 57!

Indeed, it was a +1 year for me last week. As always, I’m like… “where did that go?!”. However, today, no self-congratulatory birthday banter, for I always prefer to keep things low key. Instead, let me show where I hid myself (far!) away for my b-day this year so as to maintain that desired level of low key…

Before I tell you, can you guess where I was? ->

Any ideas?… ->

Getting warmer (while it appears to be only getting colder where these pics were taken)?…

…And snowy:

After having become a touch nostalgic while looking back at some of my previous birthdays, I figured this year’s was just as suitably celebrated in grandiose fashion, or, at least – in a grandiose setting…

For those who haven’t worked it out yet, this year I was in Altai. First we flew to Gorno-Altaisk Airport, and from there we took a helicopter to Lake Teletskoye.

There’s the Katun river, down which we’ve often rafted. Never seen it so low though (as it gets in fall) ->

Still no less magnificent:

Here a some rapids – called “Dollar” due to the shape of the river – on the lower Katun ->

Already wintery up in the mountains:

Mountain pass:

Lake Teletskoye! ->

Its environs – also awesome:

Autumnal scenes:

The lake is enticing, but it’s simply too cold for a dip:

We were staying at Altay Village – a five-star resort made up of luxury cabins. Nice. I’d show you my photos thereof, but I’m afraid I don’t have any: I was too busy low-key birthdaying :)…

The rest of the photos of autumnal Altai are here.

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A Kuarter of a century? Where did that go?!…

Hi folks!

25 years and nine days ago – on June 26, 1997 – the company that happens to have the same name as me was registered. And it was “humble beginnings” in the truest sense: around a dozen folks with zero turnover – but with some special tech-expertise and some equally special and veeeery ambitious plans. And we looked something like this:

Fast-forward two years to 1999 and there’s already around 40 of us ->

And that’s how it all started. // Btw: you can find out more details about our history here.

Twenty-five years – a quarter-century! – doing some great work! Based on our own world-beating antivirus engine, we developed breakthrough internet security products for home users. It didn’t always go smoothly, but we got there! There was our Ver. 6 – remember that? (And what a grandiose tale there is to tell there:) Then we gradually moved into the enterprise market, managing to develop some great products there too: first in the endpoint category, and then also network-traffic control, protection against targeted attacks and so on. Then we turned to protecting industrial objects. And now (without being too modest), I can say we’re the only company in the world that provides such a broad range of top-notch cyber protection: for user devices, workstations, server infrastructure and network traffic, as well as industrial control systems like SCADA. Moreover, we cover the widest range of operating systems and device types.

Read on…

1, 2, 3, 4… 56!

Aha – it’s that special day that comes just once a year. Actually, no – that’s not 100% accurate. It can come twice a year – over two consecutive repeated days! For example, you celebrate the first day somewhere like Fiji, and then you head over to Tahiti – still in yesterday – for a repeat day of fun and frolics. Well, why not? And I tried it once: a group of fellow travelers and I had a full March 29, 2018 twice! Does it mean we’re a day older – or is it younger? – I’m still not sure ).

However, this year I’m a little closer to home than the tropical islands in the middle of the Pacific, and it’s a little cooler too: for my 56th birthday I’m in full-on work mode on a brief northern-European business trip taking the route Moscow-London-Copenhagen-Moscow.

So what can be said about being 56? I guess it depends on who is saying it. For those who are already long past it, they may be… condescending! For those who were born around or even on October 4, 1965 – they’ll probably be full of familiar, nostalgic understanding ). For those for whom 56 is still a long way off, I guess they may not be able to even start to imagine what it could possibly be like to be… four years short of 60! So, what I will say about being 56 is directed at this latter group. All righty, here we go…:

Being 56 – it’s all just the same! No new feelings or sensations are added on this ‘special’ day, and all existing feelings and sensations don’t suddenly disappear off somewhere. No change; no worries!

Ok, at least – that’s what I can say about this particular day – compared with, say, yesterday, when I was still 55 years old. But there is one thing that’s been building up gradually over recent years that is a bit of a downer, albeit of a first-world-problems sort. See, I’ve been lucky enough, over the last few decades, to have been constantly traveling/flying/expeditioning around the globe – so much so that, well, the senses have become a little dulled. So many countries visited, so many places checked out (and keenly photographed), so many seas and oceans bathed in, so many hotels, so many… impressions overall. It’s come to the point where it’s hard to surprise me, much less amaze me. Of course, there are exceptions – for example, on the Kolyma Highway in January. Now that was surprisingly amazing! So much so I’m planning a repeat road trip next year.

Bah – enough complaining. Back to the good stuff: I am still experiencing some new things for the first time…

For example, I’d long (very long) dreamed of running a half-marathon. And thanks to the vile crowned virus of 2020 vintage, last year I managed to run a full two of them after being able to train so much due to my practically being grounded and having much more free time on my hands legs. And this year I’ve done another two. Just running on my own, mind – just ‘for me’, not in an official half-marathon with all the crowds. Oh, and last summer, after putting in so many hours at the gym pumping iron, I finally managed to bench 111kg, which for me of course is the ideal weight as it’s so much like 11-11 (inside-joke; apologies newbies; ok – here you go:).

So, in summary, as I enter my 57th year… life’s pretty good! So I raise a glass to new endeavors, new challenges, more travels (despite my gripes), and more, new, everything else!

Thank you, thank you! You’re all too kind! Hugs and kisses. From me xx.

Jabby Birthday! 24 years and Kounting…

We have a long tradition of celebrating the Kompany’s birthday in the middle of July every year. I say every year – indeed it was every year since 1997 – but, alas, last year we had to break from tradition, for obvious reasons. But that only made us all the more keen to bounce back to normal this year, continuing where we left off in 2019 – with a big bang!

It was touch and go, of course, whether it would go ahead at all this year given the ongoing… situation, but in the end – yeh! So on July 16, again on a bank of the river Volga at a hotel complex in the countryside outside Moscow, it was time to party: party hard, party fun (as we always do), and this year – party safe!

‘But, like… what? There’s a global pandemic still raging!’, I can hear some of your say…

Hold your horses. Back up a bit, and here’s a bit more on ‘partying safe’…

Read on…

Happy 14th Birthday, FanKlub!

Once upon a time, long ago – but just within the furthest reaches of our digital archive – a few interesting events occurred…

Now, many companies have a global internet forum. A place where keen followers of the company and its product line gather, and where users go to sort out issues they may be having. We have one too.

Global. All very well, but not very intimate. All a bit too mechanical. All a bit too utilitarian and broad-stroke. Not personal: no real rapport. So we thought and debated and scratched heads regarding a different approach. And the eventual result: the birth of our localized – Russian – fan club, 14 years ago!

And just like we like to celebrate our birthday as a company in style, our fan club does too, in recent years even going on exotic expeditions for the occasion: Cambodia, Iceland and elsewhere. This year another expedition was planned, but then it was postponed, then postponed again, for the obvious reasons. Summer – the season the birthday falls in – came and went, yet still no b-day bash. Fall came and went. The last season of the year came… and so there was only one thing for it: this year’s celebrations would take place in winter! Which they just did…

Read on…

K FR = 15!

The celebrations to mark the 15th anniversary of our French office in Paris were lots of fun! But we start this story with a picture of the birthday cake from the 10th anniversary of our French office:

Why? To jog the memory – by going through my archives and photos I recalled all sorts of various stories. Like this hilarious one, which is probably hard to believe now. This is what happened.

It was back in the days when online banking was just getting started and serious cybercrime was only beginning to raise its ugly head; when people still had push-button Nokias and Sony Ericssons in their pockets and plane tickets were printed on paper (long sheets stitched together). It was November 2002, and me and a group of like-minded folks were about to head off to an important event in the Cote d’Azur area of France. It was late afternoon on Friday and we were due to fly on the Monday… Suddenly a letter falls into my box. // When an owl delivers a message it always means unexpected or sudden changes to plans, you know.

The letter contained a proposal for cooperation from the former director of one of our esteemed competitors. It turned out that this competitor of ours had rather blatantly broken their promises and basically dumped their local director who had built up their business in France. And, well, this director was now offering to go down the same path all over again and start a business with us.

It was a bit of a surprise to say the least! Fate doesn’t dish out opportunities like that very often. And we were already heading to France anyway! We absolutely had to meet! But to do so, we had to stay in Paris for an extra day and change our return tickets.

Nowadays you can change planes or hotels as much as you like, whenever you like. But back then it was a very different story because no one worked on weekends. The airline tickets had to be changed physically, not just in the database. Of course, it was all quite doable – you just had to go to an airlines office. And there just happened to be one on the way – we were flying via Paris and then onwards to Nice. And so, sometime in the middle of the day I arrived at the airline’s office on the Champs-Elysées. I got there literally 10-15 minutes before the lunch break(!) – yes, yes, then – and to this day – it was/is customary in France to close for lunch.

Lunch is sacred! Nobody in the office wanted to mess about with customers right before their break. They frowned a bit, but after realizing that I wasn’t going to leave and wait outside, they took my passport, credit card (I had to pay extra), tapped a few buttons on the keyboard and gave me a new ticket. I didn’t look too closely at the ticket (unfortunately), immediately jumped in a taxi and zoomed off to the station, because my Paris-Nice train was already panting and whistling and raring to go.

After that it was all business and press stuff. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that there were a few of us. For example, my good old travelling buddy D.Z. was with us, and the former director of my company, my namesake N.K., all flew to the event. For some reason (I don’t remember why) we flew together, but then she flew somewhere else, and I went to the coast by train.

We got everything done that we needed to, all the meetings were successful, I was flying home in the morning, and N.K. had some other things to do and decided to take another flight later that day. I arrived at the airport check-in desk and handed over my passport and ticket. The employee at the desk read everything very attentively, then looked up at me and asked in surprise: “Natalya?”

Oops… – I couldn’t help thinking that it wasn’t a coincidence. I called N.K. and her ticket was correct – in her own name. Turns out those Mayan drummers at the Paris office had hurriedly (almost lunchtime!) printed off a ticket for me using N.K.’s name. I was in such a hurry to catch my train that I failed to notice the mistake.

It all ended well though. There was a bit of fussing around, some conferring and they eventually agreed it was their fault – and led me by the hand to the plane with a “dodgy” ticket. I’ve no idea how much fainting and confusion there was in our accounting department when they had to account for two “Natalyas” flying from Paris to Moscow just a few hours apart.

That’s just one of the many stories.

Read on…

Please move forward – by one year!

Konichiwa folks!

October 4 has caught up with me again – suddenly, I’m 54 years old! Goodness!

It was as if leading Russian business daily Kommersant knew my b-day was coming up – including me in their 1000 Best Russian Managers – 2019 listing [Russian language]. Nice! Thank you: that was my first birthday present! Am much obliged.

Even nicer was seeing a full four K-bosses in the Top-100/Top-50 rankings in the same newspaper in their respective lines of work:

Hurray! Well done all of you! This just shows: we’re moving in the right direction.

// And I’ve been shown the financial results of our Japanese office for the first three quarters of the year. Very pleasing they are too. Hurray again! That’s another perfect present for me. Thank you! Kanpai!

15 years in Kazakhstan!

Selem folks!

I’ve still plenty more to tell and show you about our Kurils-2019 expedition, and also about my recent trip to Mongolia and its Gobi Desert, but in the meantime I’ve been visiting yet further countries less-visited – including… Kazakhstan! Now, I know I’m behind on my Kuril-and-Gobi catch-up, but I don’t want that tardiness to cross over into other trips. Accordingly, herewith, a brief side excursion – to Almaty!

I was in Kazakhstan’s largest city to celebrate a jubilee – the 15th anniversary of our presence in the region, and that covers the whole of Central Asia, including Mongolia!

(The photos are official ones – taken by a professional photographer)

First there was the day’s work, which was non-stop: press conference, Q&A, presentations for partners and clients, and preparations for the evening’s celebrations.

Next – the evening’s celebrations!…

Which were just how we liKe them: fun, friendly, singing-and-dancing, and with assorted attractions.

The boss down there – Evgeny Pitolin. Been with us at K now, oooh – lost count: many, many years ).

Crikey! Now that’s some birthday cake!

So… how do you go about cutting that. Where do you start?! Such a shame to destroy it!

Ok, here goes!…

Time to party – and rock!

(Of late – over the last few years, I mean – we’ve had quite a few local-office anniversaries: Italy, Poland, Spain, but I digress).

So, 15 years in Kazakhstan, eh? Now, if it were, say, five years in Kazakhstan, I’d no doubt dig up blogposts, FB posts, Instagrams and the like from five years ago for a little nostalgic retrospective from back when the office was founded. However, 15 years ago – no blogs, no FB, no Insta – not even our Fan Club! So let me give you a roundup of the status of K back then – manually, as it were…

️ 2004-1: our antivirus engine – yes, it was the best in the world (really; and it’s stayed the best:);

️ 2004-2: Sure, the Anti-Virus with my surname on it – it was a little wonky; this is where the ‘Kaspersky slows things down too much’ thing came from; however, that’s long since a thing of the past;

️ 2004-3: We made some timid, uncertain steps toward making a for-business product. Our competitors laughed – hard. But those were important first baby steps. Fast-forward to today and no one’s laughing anymore – we’re ahead of everyone );

️ 2004-main things: (i) it was this year when, due to performance issues, we turned our whole approach to antivirus upside-down – including a complete overhaul of our engine; (ii) it was from around this year when we started expanding our presence across the whole world.

In 2004, besides Kazakhstan, we opened rep offices in the U.S., France, Germany and Japan, and a subsidiary in China. Later, after a brief breather – we were at it again and soon had offices everywhere.

Other figures from 2004:

✔️ Earnings = US$27m;

✔️ 380 employees.

15 years later we were earning 25 times more and employing 11 times more staff. Our product range also went through the roof ). Plus: assorted services, education, this, that, universities, schools, Security Analyst Summit (SAS). And the icing on the cake: KasperskyOS and secure online voting using blockchain.

How we’ve come on in 15 years!

Ok – back to Kazakhstan after that nostalgic digression…

After the work – and the play – it was time for a spot of tourism. So off we popped to Big Almaty Lake, naturally ).

Unfortunately you can’t swim in the lake; if you do you can end up in prison, apparently! Shame!

What a beauty!

Next – over to Shymbulak. I remember it from decades ago. But there were no glass bottoms back then like there are now…

No snow! So it was a quick up and down, then back to Almaty. Next day it was back to Moscow. And from the plane:

That’s all for today folks!